WOLSTENHOLME, After Dean, Senior (1757-1837)
[Set of Four] Coursing. Plate I. Going out.; Plate II. Finding; Plate III. The Hare's Last Effort; Plate IV. The Death
London: R. Ackermann, 1 May 1823. Aquatint engraving, printed in colours and finished by hand, by Thomas Sutherland, except plate III which was engraved by J. Stewart. (All skillfully restored, mostly marginal repairs). Images:9 7/8 x 12 3/4 inches approx.; sheets: 11 7/8 x 13 3/4 inches.
A very fine series from one of the greatest British sporting artists of his time.
"Dean Wolstenholme Snr became an artist in middle life after losing his then not inconsiderable wealth in a property deal which went wrong. Before moving to London in about 1800 he had lived in Herfordshire and Essex, pursuing a happy life devoted to foxhunting and coursing, painting a little for his own pleasure. In London he had to paint in earnest, bringing to the city memories of his earlier years. He exhibited a painting of coursing at the Royal Academy in 1803; fox hunting in 1804... and so on until shortly before his death in 1837. A large number of his hunting, coursing and shooting pictures were engraved... [His son, Charles Dean Wolstenholme Jnr. (1793-1883) also became an animal painter of note.] Both father and son populated their landscapes with horses and horsemen rather than painting commissioned equestrian portraits; and the pleasure of their work is their skill in depicting the English (Home Counties) countryside." (Chales Lane British Racing Prints p.184) This series was published at the same time as a matching set of four prints after Wolstenholme called "Hunting". The sport of coursing involves greyhounds and hares, rather than hounds and foxes. The greyhounds follow their prey by sight rather than by scent.